This month's news round up starts with advice on sleeping on the job. The European practice of "siesta" is well known, but what about sleeping in meetings? While that might get you disciplined in the UK it transpires that it is a sign of status in Japan where it is seen to indicate how hard you work. Top tips for naps include sleeping during lunch and, no doubt most importantly, getting permission from your boss.
Also reported recently is the national minimum wage ("NMW") awareness campaign that has resulted in the highlighting of bizarre excuses given to HMRC by employers who failed to pay NMW. Excuses for not paying range from "she only makes the teas and sweeps the floor" to passing the buck with "my accountant doesn't understand me and that’s why he doesn't pay the workers the correct amount".
While gender pay gap reporting is being touted as the next step in reaching equality of pay, the risk of creating a "fatherhood penalty" has been reported on this month. This would mirror the "motherhood penalty" which has been identified as one of the primary causes of pay inequality when women with children follow a career path below their skillset level and reduce their earnings. According to a Modern Families Index report about 1/3 of surveyed men felt burnt out, with approximately 20% working extra hours.
"Equal pay day" (the day that is reported each year as being the day women start to work for free due to the pay gap) is usually around the beginning of November each year. But if you were to guess when "Fat cat day" would be in 2017 how close would you get? This year it is reported as Fat Cat Wednesday, and it fell on the first Wednesday of January. The comparison, which is between top bosses median salaries of £4 million and the median salary of average UK workers of £28,800, is carried out annually by the High Pay Centre and showed that so called fat cats had earned more than the average worker earns in a year by midday on 4 January.